by Marion Nestle
Mar 22 2009

Food marketing: cartoons, scholarship, and action

First, the cartoons: this week’s question from Eating Liberally’s kat has to do with whether it makes sense to put cartoon characters on eggs or, for that matter, fruits and vegetables.  I vote no, of course, and the illustrations alone explain why.

Next, the scholarship: The latest volume of Annual Reviews of Public Health contains excellent reviews of studies of the influence of the food marketing environment on child and adult health.

Sara Bleich et al explain why obesity has become so common in the developed world.

Kelly Brownell’s group reviews the effects of food marketing on childhood obesity.

David Katz discusses school-based obesity interventions.

Mary Story et al describe policy approaches to creating healthy food environments.

And the American Association of Wine Economists (a group new to me, but interesting) forwards its Working Paper #33:

Janet Currie et al on the effect of fast food restaurants on obesity.

Finally, the action: Perhaps in response to all this, language inserted into the congressional spending bill asks the Federal Trade Commission to set up an interagency committee to set nutritional standards for products allowed to be marketed to children age 17 or under.  According to Advertising Age, the food industry thinks this is not a good idea.

  • http://www.cspinet.org Alex Lewin

    Hi Marion – This recent story takes food marketing to an entirely new level. Thought you’d enjoy – http://blogs.reuters.com/shop-talk/2009/03/25/pothole-filling-thats-finger-lickin-good/

  • Jon

    I thought Daffy was Warner Brothers, but otherwise, yeah. Marketing to kids is a Bad Idea, and honestly, it takes five secods to figure out what’s causing kids to gain weight. More calories, less exercise, and the calories are generally of poor quality. How much do calories correlate? So much that, by state, I can correlate percentage of children who are obese to number of fast food restaurants per square kilometer.

    I don’t even want to think what obesity is going to do to them during puberty.

  • http://morten.me Morten Strunge Meyer

    Marion, thanks for alerting us on the new and importants papers in Annual Reviews of Public Health.